Is there a word that means "left alone and to die"?

Edit: I believe there is such a word. I think I'm looking for abandoned and alone. Others expectations are that you'll die.

  • 7
    Do you mean "left alone to die"?
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 11:07

4 Answers 4


Neglected immediately comes to mind (particularly in the context of elderly people in hospitals), my Thesaurus is also suggesting condemned which would fit better in the context of a prisoner on death row although a building can also be declared unfit and condemned. Forsaken might also work depending on context (it has many Biblical connotations).


Apart from the obvious close-but-no-cigar candidates abandoned and forsaken, how about marooned?

  1. [put] ashore on a desolate island or coast and [left] to one's fate
  2. [placed or left] in isolation or without hope of ready escape

I cannot think of anything that specifically means “to leave someone alone to die”, even though “leave alone” has many synonyms. The closest I can think of are:

  • “to be left for dead”: to be abandoned as certain to die, but it can also have the connotation of “almost dead”, which may or may not be desirable depending on the context
  • “to leave him to his fate”: although it does not imply death in particular, it is usually implied that the fate in question is unfavourable
  • strand, which means leave someone without means to move, may also be relevant in some cases (stranded on an deserted island)

Perhaps castaway is sufficient

Sailors were cast away onto desert islands with the intention that they would suffer a slow and painful death, or go mad (although that is technically being marooned).

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